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After Halloween or Thanksgiving: When do you start listening to Christmas music?

By Hannah Leavitt, KSL.com | Posted - Nov 1st, 2018 @ 4:41pm



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SALT LAKE CITY — Thursday marks the end of the Halloween season, but for some people, it marks the beginning of Christmastime. Is Nov. 1 too early to start listening to Christmas music?

Even if you think it is too early, don’t be surprised if you hear Christmas music playing in stores starting Thursday. A Tampa Bay Times reporter noted the trend when he tweeted last year that stores like Kmart and Michael’s began playing Christmas music in his area on Nov. 1.

In a poll by Bustle, 26 percent of people said they think that Nov. 1 is the perfect time to start listening to Christmas music, and with good reason. NBC News reported that your body can have a positive reaction to hearing Christmas music.

“Our response to Christmas songs depends on the association,” Dr. Rhonda Freeman, a clinical neuropsychologist, told NBC News. “Many of us associate this music with childhood and a happy time of presents and traditions and all the specialness that happens around that time of year. When the brain makes these associations with something very positive and pleasurable, the rewards system is being activated (which triggers) a number of chemicals including dopamine.”

Nostalgia is also a common reason for enjoying Christmas music.

“You learn it as a child, and it’s one of the few bodies of songs that people have deep inside their memories,” Phil Gentry, a musicologist with the University of Delaware, told NBC News.

Fifty-two percent of people who voted in the Bustle poll said that they think anytime after Thanksgiving is the appropriate time to listen to Christmas music. But if listening to holiday music often brings positivity and nostalgia for many, then why wait until Thanksgiving to pull out that album of holiday hits?

The most common answer is that Christmas music is repetitive.

As the weather gets colder, many people plan indoor activities so hearing Christmas music in public places, like shopping malls, restaurants and businesses, becomes more frequent.

Hearing the same songs over and over again could drive anyone crazy, which is why a lot of people prefer to keep Christmas music for after Thanksgiving.

Men’s Health reported that Christmas music may not always bring cheerful thoughts. Clinical psychologist Linda Blair said that hearing Christmas music can remind you of all the tasks you need to complete before Dec. 25. This can include shopping, wrapping presents, cooking and hosting family and friends.

“Christmas music is likely to irritate people if it’s played too loudly and too early,” Blair told Men's Health. “You’re simply spending all of your energy trying not to hear what you’re hearing.”

The poll also found that 2 percent of people say we should never listen to Christmas music. Nine percent said Dec. 1 is the best time to start listening to holiday music. And the rest, about 11 percent, think people should "always" listen to Christmas music.

When do you think it’s OK to start listening to Christmas music? Let us know by taking the poll below:

Hannah Leavitt

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